Meet the John Perrys

As most of you know, the protagonist of Old Man’s War (and the upcoming The Last Colony) is a fellow named John Perry. Now “John Perry” is not likely to be a wildly uncommon name, and I was procrastinating the other day, so I dropped the name in Google to see what might pop up.

And lo and behold, there’s a fairly notable John Perry out there: He’s a professor of philosophy and former chair of the philosophy department of Stanford University, and co-hosts a radio show about the subject with the current chair of Stanford philosophy, which also naturally has an associated blog. And ironically, he’s got an internet-famous essay on procrastination. He’s even got a Wikipedia entry! Excellent.

There’s also a John Perry who is an artist, and a John Perry whose Web presence is trapped in 1995. Set it free, Mr. Perry! Let your Web site enjoy the pleasures of the 21st Century!

Then there’s the John Perry who died on September 11, 2001, trying to help people escape from the World Trade Center. His personal Web site is still up.

John Perry also was the sailor guy in those old Old Spice commercials.

He’s also an English musician and rock biographer! And an Irish politician! He’s a Christian worship leader! And should you ever want to go fly fishing in Montana or have some photography done, John Perry’s your man.

Clearly, John Perry has a life outside of my book. As well he should.

17 Comments on “Meet the John Perrys”

  1. The Perrys are also a famous name in the US Navy, although I don’t think any of them were named John. Perry Class is either a destroyer or missle frigate (I forget which).

  2. I don’t know a John Perry, but I do know an Alan Rosenthal which made bits of OMW rather surreal.


  3. “Perry Class is either a destroyer or missile frigate”

    FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class Guided Missile Frigate. The older ones were Knox Class, all of which are decommissioned now, and the Perry’s will be gone by the end of 2008. It’s too bad, because they were damned useful little ships. But then small, cheap, and long service life don’t keep defense contractors employed, so there you have it… You know you’ve been in the Navy too damned long when the ships that were brand new when you came in (Perry’s, Spruance DDG’s, and Ticonderoga CG’s) are being decommissioned and you’re still around. Sigh.

  4. Hey Jim, just because they decommission the ship line out from under you doesn’t make you older, it makes you more durable. All those guys in the AF Reserve MAC beat the snot out of the new kids with their new toys in Checkered Flag (I think that’s the one).

  5. The John Perry Old Spice guy is also the father of actor Matthew Perry, from some old sitcom nobody used to watch…..and some new drama/comedy that some also watch.

  6. That’s a really cool procrastination essay. I read it and thought, “gee, that’s almost exactly the way I actualy work.” I’ll have to accept (and harness) my inner procrastinator now.

  7. Adding on to my last comment, the philosophy professor has an even funnier essay about the differences between the vertically and horizontally organized.

    I readthat one and thought: “woah… people actually put things into file cabinets that they’re just going to take out again an hour later? What a novel concept!”

    The basic gist is that those of us with stacks of stuff on our desks aren’t disorganized. It is organized. It’s just in layers.

    His proposed solution is a giant lazy susan. Mine would be to have a very tall office, and a stack of desk surfaces arranged in trays, and a chair that lets me elevate up and down according to which tray I want to pull out and look at. Maybe with small drawers on each side to hold pencils and things so that I don’t have to go all the way down to the bottom to fetch them as I’m moving around.

    I would’ve suggested this to him directly, but alas his comments forum is overrun with spam, so it would just get lost there. Therefore I’ll just put it here. ;)

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